MORRIS HEIGHTS - Rodents, roaches and other complaints have driven tenants of 1849 Sedgwick Ave. to file a class-action lawsuit against their landlord.The 69 renters say they are dealing with extreme living conditions. The city's Department of Housing Preservation has more than 400 violations on file for the Morris Heights property.
"It includes such serious problems as mice, rat and roach infestation, broken doors and windows, mold, water leaks and no heat," says attorney Garrett Wright, who is representing the tenants.
"I go to bed at night with a knit cap on, gloves and a coat," says tenant Eugenie White, of the Morris Heights Tenant Association.
Others complain about lax security, including a string of armed holdups in recent months.
Tenants are hopeful that a judge will appoint an independent administrator to clean up the building. The administrator would be authorized to collect rent and could borrow up to $20,000 per unit from HPD to make repairs. That would amount to an investment of about $1.3 million.
The administrator would then allow the landlord to regain control once the building is up to code.
The first court date is March 27. The landlord did not return calls for comment.